The AMI QT Devotionals from December 17 to 24 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Remnant Church, New York City. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four adorable children.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.
I live in a town where high school sports are pretty huge; and as a trickle down effect, youth sports seem to be more important than they should be. So in my son’s and daughter’s 1st and 2nd grade teams, we have our fair share of crazy dads (as well as some coaches) who takes their children’s games a little too seriously. As I’ve gotten a chance to know a few of these overly enthusiastic parents, a fairly common back story has emerged: for many of these parents, high school sports were a highlight of their life. I don’t mean to make these people sound sad—this is generally not the case—but I do think that they would like to relive the “glory days” through their children’s accomplishments on the athletic field.
When it comes to gauging our own success and happiness through our children, it’s not just football dads who are guilty: think about why your parents tell you they immigrated to the U.S. And consider your own heart’s motive as you push your kids to get the best grades or excel in music or sports. For whatever reason, it’s human nature to gauge our success based on the success of our children—that’s the nice way of putting it; the more direct—and slightly a meaner—way of putting it is that we use our kids to make us feel successful. And guess what, this is not a modern phenomenon. In today’s chapter, it’s clear that both Rachel and Leah used their kids— specifically the number of sons they had—to gauge their success as the main matriarch in Jacob’s household. It’s sad but true.
This morning, let me ask you this: how do you gauge success? Do you gauge it on how well your kids do in school or extracurriculars? If you’re not a parent, do you build success on your position at work or your bank account? In the end, whether we have kids or not, success is the same. Do you trust in God, and do you do your best to be faithful in all areas He has given you? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, my guess is that God deems you a success.
Prayer: Lord, give me faith to truly measure success by faithfulness to You. Let me not compare myself to others or use others to make me feel successful. Help me to care for only Your applause. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 3:1-8: My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Questions to Consider
- What are some keys to finding success in the sight of God?
- In verses 5-8, the writer gives some benefits of trusting and fearing the Lord; what are they?
- On a personal level, what does it mean to trust the Lord?
- The writer of Proverbs indicates that keeping God’s commandments (v. 1) and binding His love and faithfulness in our hearts (v. 3) will lead to success in God’s eyes.
- If we trust God and fear Him, He will keep our paths straight (v. 5) and heal and refresh us (v. 8).
- Personal application.
How do you define success? Is it truly based on faithfulness to the Lord and His will in your life, or, do you use other standards? What are your dreams and plans? Ask the Lord to speak into your heart on this matter.